South Hills Pharmacist Sentenced to Prison for Prescription Drug Fraud Scheme
(STL.News) A resident of Venetia, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to one year in prison, two years of supervised release, a fine of $10,000, and ordered to pay $649,524 in restitution on his conviction of obtaining controlled substances by fraud, misbranding of drugs, and health care fraud conspiracy, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today.
Senior United States District Judge David Steward Cercone imposed the sentence on Timothy W. Forester, 46.
Forester pled guilty on September 17, 2021. Forester owned and operated four pharmacies in the Pittsburgh region. Forester would order scheduled narcotics, mostly oxycodone and hydrocodone, from suppliers, intercept those deliveries, falsify pharmacy inventories and transport the drugs to his residence, where he would consume them. In addition, Forester would place labels for brand named drugs on bottles of generic drugs, and bill insurance companies and customers as if the drugs were the higher priced brand drugs. Finally, he would change the computer billing codes for drugs to falsely represent to payors that the drugs were brand, resulting in a much higher reimbursement.
Assistant United States Attorney Robert S. Cessar prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
The investigation leading to the filing of charges in this case was conducted by the Western Pennsylvania Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit, which combines personnel and resources from the following agencies to combat the growing prescription opioid epidemic: Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General – Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, United States Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Attorney’s Office – Criminal Division, Civil Division and Asset Forfeiture Unit, Department of Veterans Affairs-Office of Inspector General, Food and Drug Administration-Office of Criminal Investigations and the Pennsylvania Bureau of Licensing.